29 APR 2013 by ideonexus

 Christmas is Not Christian

I have decked my soundproof booth with boughs of holly and, of course, poinsettia or, some say, poin-settia. Though it is actually pronounced pon-see-ha. Did you know that it is a Mexican plant? It is. Named for the ambassador to Mexico, James Poinsett, it was brought to our country in 1828 and quickly became favored over its predecessor, the Christ-odendron. Some might argue we've ended up with an inferior, less godly plant. But in fact, history shows us so little of Christmas is actually C...
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Most of the traditions we embrace for the holiday have pagan origins.

23 JUL 2011 by ideonexus

 The Principle of Religious Diversity

As to religion, I hold it to be the indispensable duty of all government, to protect all conscientious professors thereof, and I know of no other business which government hath to do therewith, Let a man throw aside that narrowness of soul, that selfishness of principle, which the niggards of all professions are so unwilling to part with, and he will be at delivered of his fears on that head. Suspicion is the companion of mean souls, and the bane of all good society. For myself, I fully and c...
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Paine argues that a plurality of religious beliefs with strengthen the country.

03 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 Cooperation VS Capitalism

Finding the right balance between cooperation and competition has been the goal and bane of Western politics for centuries. Adam Smith recognized that the economic needs of the individual are better met by unleashing the ambitions of all individuals than by planning to meet those needs in advance. But even Adam Smith could not claim that free markets produce Utopia. Even the most libertarian politician today believes in the need to regulate, oversee, and tax the efforts of ambitious individua...
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Human intelligence has yet to design a society where free competition among the members works for the good of the whole.

21 APR 2011 by ideonexus

 Guy Steele on Base Ten and Base Two

If I could change one thing—this is going to sound stupid—but if I could go back in time and change one thing, I might try to interest some early preliterate people in not ! using their thumbs when they count It could have been the Standard, and it would have made a whole lot of things easier in the modem era. On the other hand, we have learned a lot from the struggle with the incompatibility of base-ten with powers of two.
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Our Base ten number system is the bane of computer scientists.